Why not forget mowing a lawn? Convert a small yard to mostly "patio": lots of pebble w/ a few paver "rugs", edge w/ lots of green & punctuate w/ moveable potted greenery -- Designer Dominique La fourcade, one of Provence's best-known Country Garden Designers -- Clive Nichols garden photography
An S-curve is perfect for an informal long, thin yard, whether it is the right way around or reversed. The line evokes a flowing river and the design resonates with a dynamic rhythm. Sweeping steps run down from a curved paved patio.